MOSCOW, April 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting with the Russian Security Council on Tuesday on the fulfilment of Russia’s policy in the Arctic in the interests of national defense, the Kremlin press service reported.
“Participants in the meeting will debate practical aspects and will outline the scope of measures to make fulfilment of documents previously adopted by the president more efficient, particularly that on foundations of Russia’s state policy in the Arctic for the period until 2020 and further on and the strategy on development of Russian Arctic zone and ensuring national security for the period until 2020,” the Kremlin press service said.
Putin stated repeatedly that Russia should preserve the country’s positions in the Arctic, particularly for the interests of defense capability. “As for the Arctic, there are not only big economic interests of the country, there are also major reserves of mineral resources, oil and gas. From the point of view of meteorological monitoring this is a very important point. But there is also a very important component of our defense capability,” the president said at a meeting with students of juridical higher educational institutions in the previous year in comments on appeals to place Russian Arctic zone under international control.
The Russian Armed Forces General Staff already stated that a new military structure - the Northern Fleet - United Strategic Command will be created at the base of the Northern Fleet this year. This new military structure will have the main goal to ensure protection of national interests of the country in the Arctic.
The Ministry of Natural Resources does another important part of work regarding the Arctic. The UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf recognized an enclave of the Sea of Okhotsk at an area of 52,000 square kilometres as Russian continental shelf on March 15. According to estimates of geologists, overall reserves of hydrocarbons found in this offshore area exceed one billion tons.
Last week Putin gave an instruction to finalize processing of Russia’s sovereign rights for an expanded continental shelf with due account of recommendations given by the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf before July 1, 2014.
The second part of Russia’s bid on the Arctic Ocean or the Arctic region in general will be prepared for consideration of the UN Commission this autumn, Minister of Natural Resources Sergei Donskoy informed the president. He described it as “the most important, most large-scale and most economically valuable."